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A challenge to accept “risk in favor of compassion.” A challenge to “look more deeply at ‘Who is my neighbor?’ ” A challenge to be generous, unlike “the religious, spiritual person who did nothing to help.” Listening to these words, I could not help but wonder: where, in that parable, does this priest see himself? They are the ones who are always forgotten, and read out of the story from both sides.”. This is what makes us powerful. All of them, whether actively or passively, have helped create these roles for themselves, and they can hardly imagine a different reality—unless they were to emerge from the closet and get thrown out of the priesthood. Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population. “You can sneak people in, no problem,” one gay monk says, “but try to avoid consistent patterns of movement.” In other words, don’t invite a guy over on the same day of the week, or at the same time of day, very often. In hoc signo vinces, Constantine’s choice (Nicknamed Bel Giorgio, or “Gorgeous George,” the rugged Gänswein skis, plays tennis, and pilots airplanes. That said, “no one has sex” with other residents of his own monastery, a former monk told me, “because it is like a Big Brother house. Might this change? According to the newspaper, the possible existence of this gay lobby was among the many secrets described in a two-volume, 300-page report bound in red and presented to Pope Benedict XVI by three cardinals he had appointed to investigate the affair known as “VatiLeaks.” That scandal, which raised fresh suspicions of endemic corruption within the Curia, had broken the previous year after Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, made off with some of Benedict’s private papers and leaked them to the press. The most imposing building is St. Peter’s Basilica, built during the 4th century and rebuilt during the 16th century. Furthermore, technical and analysis cookies from third parties may be used. Drops of Jesus' blood that are said to have fallen on the steps are marked by medieval crosses in three places on the stairs. After Bergoglio became Pope Francis, YouTube clips of a sequence from Fellini’s Roma went viral among gay priests in Rome. St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its liturgical functions. “Rumors are O.K., but not scandal,” Politi observes. He told me this story, with its echoes of the parable of the Good Samaritan—in which a traveler is robbed, beaten, and left by the side of the road, and pious men do nothing to help him—to illustrate the every-man-for-himself dynamic of Rome’s gay clerical culture. It was a chance to pray for them. When Paul VI assumed the throne, in 1963, by one account he took his papal name not from any predecessor but from a former lover, a film actor. There are at least a few gay cardinals, including one whose long-term partner is a well-known minister in a Protestant denomination. Naked but for the towel around his waist, a man of a certain age sat by himself, bent slightly forward as if praying, in a corner of the sauna at a gym in central Rome. Maybe his plans had changed again. (The choir member was dismissed; Balducci was convicted on corruption charges.). Note: An alteration was made in the passage about Marco Politi’s La Confessione, republished as Io, Prete Gay, in order to give a more accurate description of the book. “Messiah” in the Old Testament refers rather to three different figures in the life of the people of Israel. “This is almost an aspect of the Catholic religion itself,” Colm Tóibín has written in an essay on gays and Catholicism, “this business of knowing and not knowing something all at the same time, keeping an illusion separate from the truth.” It is also typical of Italian sexuality in general, and Italian homosexuality in particular. © 2021 Condé Nast. Kids below 6 years old enter for free and do not need ticket reservations. He had told me that he’d be away and couldn’t meet. It shows a plain-looking cardinal watching a runway show of over-the-top clerical attire—which ends when the departed Pope steals the show by appearing in the glorious garb of a Sun God. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Shipping and handling. You can purchase an audio-guide for an additional 7 €. The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of Ignaz von Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council.Four years later, episcopal succession was established with the consecration of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. We left the sauna and, after further conversation, civil but stilted, went our separate ways. Not the protection of medieval institutions.”. Despite headlines about a powerful “gay lobby” within the Vatican, and a new Pope promising reform, the Catholic Church’s gay cardinals, monks, and other clergy inhabit a hidden netherworld. Furthermore, technical and analysis cookies from third parties may be used. “Not in my lifetime,” they all say. Ad Choices. In the Vatican office of a monsignor who I’d been told might have some firsthand knowledge concerning recent gay scandals in the Church, I asked, point-blank, “Are you gay?,” and he serenely answered, “No.” I replied, “I wonder, if a priest is homosexual—but does not participate in mainstream secular gay culture—could he say that he is not ‘gay’ and still think he’s telling the truth?” “What an interesting question,” the monsignor said, immediately standing up and gesturing me to the door. At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority. The culture of deception operates according to signals and conventions by which gay clerics navigate their lives. Supposedly, he loves to dish male colleagues with campy female nicknames. The name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings. Months later, another leak of confidential information brought the subject of a gay lobby back into the news. One gay former seminarian recalled a night when three men beat him up and stole his wallet while numerous men in the crowded park stood by. Many others quietly let themselves be known as gay to a limited degree, to some colleagues, or to some laypeople, or both; sometimes they remain celibate and sometimes they do not. “They are really poisonous people, and they work out their own inner demonology by getting into positions in power and exercising it” against other gay men, women, and anyone whom they perceive to be a threat. The encounter was awkward. This is the sort of idea that lights up the tinfoil hats of conspiracy theorists, and it doesn’t capture the slow, feudal, inefficient workings of the Vatican. Frank Scherra, a US soldier stationed in Germany who climbed the stairs with his 6 children called the experience "priceless." The Old Vatican, Rome – Pesan dengan Jaminan Harga Terbaik! He invited 200 homeless people for dinner in the Vatican gardens. Vatican displays Holy Stairs for the first time in 300 years. It too was erected over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, and like the current Basilica, was always teeming with pilgrims. For fear of laughing out loud, priests sometimes try to avoid making eye contact with one another in church when hymns with titles like “Hail, Holy Queen” are sung. Vatican old stamps. The most senior prelate to lose his job was Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. Vatican displays Holy Stairs for the first time in 300 years. Gays in the Vatican are creatures of a cutthroat bureaucracy whose dogmatic worldview denies or denigrates their own existence. I had not met this man before, but as I entered the sauna, I thought I recognized him from photographs. There is the notorious monsignor nicknamed “Jessica,” who likes to visit a pontifical university and pass out his business card to 25-year-old novices. “We must always consider the person.”, Tales of gays in the Vatican have been told for more than a thousand years. During an impromptu press conference aboard the papal jet, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Rome after his first overseas trip, Francis was asked about the so-called gay lobby. The Vatican holds secrets so tightly that it can make Fort Meade look like a sloppy drunk. St. Peter's Basilica on St. Peter's Square, Vatican City. A few keep their sexuality entirely private and adhere to the vow of celibacy. Vatican City , officially the Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is the Holy See's independent city state, an enclave within Rome, Italy. ", Two Raphael paintings unearthed at the Vatican after 500 years. When he made to greet the man, the guard signaled him to stay back, raising a finger to his lips in a quiet “Shhhhh … ”. (Stenico tried to persuade Italian newspapers that he’d just been playing along in order “to study how priests are ensnared” into gay sex as part of “a diabolical plan by groups of Satanists.” He was suspended from his Vatican position.) But la bella figura matters just as much at ordinary moments. “I’m afraid I don’t have any more time to talk.” He insisted on personally walking me out of the building, and as we passed along a grand hallway I remarked upon its beauty. Everyone knows everything.”, The more senior the cleric, the more likely he may be to play loose with the rules. Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy, Vatican City … Discover the past of Vatican City on historical maps. He is reforming everything from the Vatican bank’s bookkeeping to the contents of the papal wardrobe. The scope of his concern about abuse of power seems total. Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. A few small groups of gay Catholics in Rome operate publicly, but because anyone can come to their meetings, it can be risky for priests, especially Vatican officials, to be part of them. Sensationally, the newspaper suggested that Benedict’s concern about the alleged gay lobby was one reason he had suddenly resigned the papacy. The Old Vatican se nachází v římské čtvrti Vaticano Prati, 2,2 km od Vatikánu a náměstí Piazza Navona, 2,3 km od náměstí sv. Now there’s nobody.”), Once you make a connection, it’s possible to use your monastery cell for sexual assignations, as long as you don’t make much noise. Some gay celibate clerics use the saunas not for sex but to experience a sense of fellowship with others like themselves. “How lucky for me: you’re here!” Startled, the priest talked fast. "It gave me time to reflect and think about people that had an impact on my faith and my family, he said, "And those that I know are in heaven or trying to get there. It is more or less impossible for gay clerics to articulate their affections in any way that does not amount to what an Anglo-Saxon mind might see as hypocrisy. As *National Catholic Reporter’*s John Allen, the dean of the American Vatican-watchers, told me, “There’s a kind of Catholic version of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ that the Jesuits would be particularly noted for. Someone took notes during what was meant to be a private meeting between Latin-American Church leaders and the new Pope, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Francis. The priests’ fates are unknown.). The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. The Vatican’s COVID-19 commission said Tuesday it is working to help promote fair access to the coronavirus vaccine, especially for those who are most vulnerable. Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. That at least was the contention of the provocative gay French writer Roger Peyrefitte, whose 1976 allegations about Paul VI caused such a stir that Paul took to the balcony of St. Peter’s to denounce the “horrible and slanderous” accusations. The priest told the congregation that this story was a challenge. In 2000, Politi published a book-length interview with an anonymous gay priest, entitled La Confessione, republished in 2006 as Io, Prete Gay (I, Gay Priest). He had the old Apostolic Palace destroyed and a new one built (the one you see today.) A layman I know whose job requires frequent trips to the Vatican used to enjoy flirting with a muscular go-go boy who danced on the bar at a gay nightclub in Rome. (The cardinal vicar of Rome was given the task of investigating. “Alongside that are suffering priests who seem sincere all the way down, who are trying to be faithful to God, and also to take care of people and change the institution. Neither Benedict nor Gänswein has publicly responded to any of this. In June, those notes were published on a progressive Catholic Web site. Yet details concerning gay priests’ gatherings added up to old news: the tales had been told in articles previously published by La Repubblica itself. From the 4th century until the Avignonese period (1309–77) the customary residence of the popes was at the Lateran. But in Rome these days the topic of gay priests in the upper reaches of the Holy See is hard to avoid. “If you are truly loyal and entrusted with the highest level of responsibility, there has to be an extra liberty attached in order to be able to pull it off.”, Vows of celibacy don’t say anything about eye candy. Sometimes talking to gay priests feels like reading stories by Borges. Though no solid evidence has ever emerged, it is treated as common knowledge by many in Rome, who cite stereotypes galore, including his fussy fashion sense (his ruby-red slippers, his “Valentino red” capes); his crusade to nail down why “homosexual actions” are “intrinsically disordered” (many closeted gay men, from Roy Cohn to Cardinal O’Brien, have made the most extraordinary efforts to condemn homosexuality); and his bromance with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his longtime personal secretary. Located in Rome, a 9-minute walk from St. Peter's Basilica, The Old Vatican provides express check-in and check-out and free WiFi throughout the property. Old maps of Vatican City on Old Maps Online. “Gay lobby” is really shorthand for something else. "Remember that the great Renaissance Popes sought to restore Rome and the Vatican Area to be the glory of the civilized world," says Diane Apostolos-Cappadona , a Catholic studies professor at Georgetown. according to the archbishop of milwaukee, jerome listecki, the 81-year-old milwaukee native, spent most of his priestly life in rome working for the vatican and teaching students latin. The priest who helps with the group of 50 raised his eyebrows when I repeated to him something an archbishop had told me. Camp is perhaps the most powerful and pervasive of these codes, though it can be difficult to define. Even Benedict has been dogged by rumors that he is gay. Ancient walls look cool. (4) The Vatican gardens are extensive at 57 acres. The restoration also turned up a surprising discovery: deep grooves in the marble caused by centuries of wear and tear from the knees and feet of pilgrims. Gay saunas are good places to meet other gay priests and monks. Among recent Popes, Benedict made the most concerted effort to sharpen Church doctrine on homosexuality, which he once called “a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.” He tried to cull gays from clerical ranks, most notably in 2005, when men with known “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” were prohibited from being ordained, even if they were celibate. Left bloodied by the thieves, the seminarian hollered at the bystanders, “There’s three of them and 300 of us!”. "We know for certain that St. Helen transported the nails used to crucify Jesus and a portion of his cross, to a church near here," said Guerra. Present Basilica began on 18 April 1506 and was a challenge you were out of the court, ” said... 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